The Awkwardness of Breaking Basic Web Design Principles
It can be incredibly intimidating when setting out to pursue a career in web design. The competition alone is enough to intimidate anyone just starting out. Fortunately, there are more than enough tips and suggestions out there to ensure you achieve success, no matter what your goals are. That being said, in general, there’s usually a set of basic web design principles both beginners and experienced professionals follow when working on a web design project. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you just ought to consider breaking them.
Sure, rules are put in place for a reason. But isn’t there a saying that goes “rules are made to be broken?” Sounds a bit rebellious and in the least, fun, right? That being said, it’s important to know what you’re doing before you even consider breaking the rules or else you’ll ruin a project as opposed to making it better.
What Are Basic Web Design Principles?
If you conduct a quick Google search for “web design principles” you’ll discover almost immediately that there is no one right answer. That being said, there does tend to be a collection of similar responses that correlate with one another to give a designer an idea of what’s expected of them and their work.
Some of the most common web design principles include points about spacing, simplicity, avoiding redundancy, focusing on the reader, and the proper use of white space. Those each sound perfectly reasonable, right? So why in the world should you consider breaking them? First, let it be known that you shouldn’t go into a project with the intention of breaking every single rule regarding web design. That will likely only lead to disaster. However, there are certain principles, at certain times, that you certainly can consider breaking if the benefit shines through.
Breaking Web Design Principles
Now for the fun part, right? Well, not so fast. First, it’s important to actually understand just what rules you may break and why. What’s the real benefit of doing so? Could it hurt your project instead of helping it?
One of the most interesting web design principles you may want to consider breaking is the rule that dictates the need for a clear website goal. If the website you’re designing is for a large enough brand or company, you may benefit from straying away from the need for a very specific and clear website goal. Instead, perhaps you want to thrill the reader by introducing them to the company and the brand as a whole. Encourage visitors to read more of your content before continuing to pursue their specific reason for visiting the site in the first place. It could encourage readers to spend more time on your site, instead of the other way around, as long as it’s done properly.
When it comes to breaking the rules, it seems there is one that web designers are starting to break more and more. Remember when pop-ups were seen as nothing more than annoying spam that discouraged visitors from staying on your site? It turns out, times are changing. Now, web designers are utilizing the popular tool, with the realization that it may increase productivity instead of hinder it.
A great example of an effective pop-up message is the one used to encourage a website or email subscription. It’s an easy and effective way to make it easier for readers to subscribe, as opposed to counting on them to navigate the site and remember to subscribe that way. Plus, many web designers have found that pop-ups in that manner aren’t as annoying as they were once believed to be.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with fonts. Sure, you don’t want to use outlandish, crazy fonts that are practically illegible. But go ahead and step outside of your comfort zone and away from web-safe fonts. Try using font styles that fit your overall theme and add to your site design, as opposed to pulling away from it. However, you may want to test a few different fonts to be sure your readers are still able to digest the content in the way you’re aiming for.
If you’re just starting out in the world of web design and don’t feel comfortable breaking the rules, don’t feel pressured to do so. However, if you’re looking to spice things up and stand out a bit, go ahead and try breaking a rule now and then. You may find that pays for itself.